LASI Biomarkers

Molecular Biomarkers

LASI also collects dried blood spots (DBS), which can be analyzed to provide researchers with quantitative data on health. The LASI research team has joined with DBS experts in the United States, including Peifeng (Perry) Hu (UCLA), Thomas McDade (Northwestern), Teresa Seeman (UCLA), and Sharon Williams (Purdue), to craft a proposal to the NIH for analyzing the DBS collected during LASI. In particular, the LASI team proposes to analyze the DBS for the presence of C-reactive protein (CRP), hemoglobin (Hb), glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and cystatin C. The DBS collected during the projected full-scale LASI project will be analyzed by Arun Risbud and his research team at the National AIDS Research Institute (NARI) in Pune, India.

Non-molecular biomarkers

Another feature of LASI is the collection of non-molecular biomarkers, such as blood pressure, grip strength, and waist-hip ratio.  These biomarkers can be analyzed to provide researchers with quantitative data on health. The National Research Council recommends that biomarkers be incorporated into a social survey to (a) capture health data from a portion of the population that otherwise would not have this type of data recorded; (b) investigate determinants of common health outcomes; and (c) study interactions between biomarkers and other social conditions that may subsequently lead to declines in health outcomes. The inclusion of biomarkers and other health assessments is particularly important for less-developed countries such as India, where access to health care tends to be limited. As a result, diseases go undiagnosed more frequently than they do in high-income countries.